The Archive of Siobhan Davies Dance

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Title: Dance Work
Work: Affections

Summary

Siobhan Davies asked Gerald Barry, who had composed the music for Trespass, to choose the music for its companion piece Affections. He chose six arias from several Handel operas. The music had a transforming affect on some of the elements and choreography which first appeared in Trespass before re-materializing in Affections.

Analysis

'Davies is famous for working not only with her dance artists but also with designers, musicians and composers, encouraging the exchange of ideas that make her pieces so richly textured. This programme is the result of a unique creative association with the composer Gerald Barry, who was commissioned to write Trespass and asked to arrange the music for Affections. He chose six arias by Handel which are performed by the mezzo-soprano Buddug Verona James with a piano quartet...[and] explores some of the themes first touched upon in Trespass. There is no suggestion of romance; the affections here are concerned with the creative energy and how it influences emotion' (Programme note, 1996).

'Like a puzzle, the pieces together form a maze of possible interconnections - some clearly shown, others more tenuous - allowing us to trace our own pathways, and to see what we find there' (Sanjoy Roy, programme note, 1996).

'In Trespass and the companion piece, Affections, choreographed in 1996, Davies explored the idea of gradually erasing material from a dance phrase, repeating and seeing less and less as the dance progresses, in effect, an accumulation in reverse. Whilst this process resulted in movement material that was transformed in many ways throughout both dances, it is seen most clearly in Clarke's powerful solo in Affections' (Sarah Whatley, 2002).